Fathers tend to tighten clamps on teens’ risky sexual behaviourMay 15th, 2009 - 8:11 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, May 15 (IANS) Fathers tend to tighten clamps on adolescents when they engage in risky sexual behaviour, according to a new study.
Researchers at Boston College, Universities of Pittsburgh and Harvard who conducted the study, followed more than 3,200 teenagers aged 13 to 18 over a period of four years.
The teens were a subset of participants in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, a representative sample of American adolescents.
When teens engaged in risky sexual behaviour, fathers intensified their involvement, learning more about their children’s friends and activities.
This finding contradicts previous research, which has found that parents react with hostility and are less engaged following such discoveries.
“This research highlights the complex interplay of relationships between parents and their adolescent children,” said Rebekah Levine Coley, associate professor of applied developmental and educational psychology at Boston College and the study’s lead author.
This study also identified involvement in family activities as a protective force. Specifically, it found that teens who took part in routine family activities like eating meals together or joining in fun projects were less likely to engage in risky sexual activity.
Conversely, teens who didn’t engage in risky sexual behaviour were more likely to participate in family activities, said a Boston release.
Starting at age 14, the teens also answered questions about their engagement in risky sexual activities, frequency of intercourse, number of partners and unprotected sex.
These findings appeared in the May-June issue of Child Development.
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